Project Presented at ACSUS Plenary Session

August 18th, 2011

The With Criminal Intent project was presented by Stéfan Sinclair at a large plenary session of the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States (ACSUS) in Ottawa on November 18th, 2011. The session was chaired by Chad Gaffield, the president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and was intended to showcase the transformative potential of the Digging into Data program and the research it supports.

White Paper on Criminal Intent Project

August 13th, 2011

Our White Paper on the Criminal Intent project is now available in a PDF.

Here is the Table of Contents:

Executive Summary     1

0. Introduction and Aims of the Project     2

1. The Old Bailey API     3

2. Zotero As Intermediary     5

3. Voyeur Tools     10

4. ‘Show Me More Like This’     14

5. Data Warehousing     16

6. Challenges, Academic Reaction and Usability     20

7. Prototyping and Literate Programming     21

8. Pulling It All Together     23

9. References     25

Appendix 1: Connecting Zotero to Voyeur     27

In the New York Times

August 13th, 2011

The New York Times has an article on the Criminal Intent project. See, Old Bailey Trials Are Tabulated for Scholars Online (“As the Gavels Fell: 240 Years at Old Bailey, Patricia Cohen, August 17, 2011). They quote a historian who is skeptical of the results of mining, though he appreciates the resource.

“The Old Bailey Online project has done a great service in making those sources widely (and costlessly) available,” Mr. Langbein wrote in an e-mail. But he complained that the claims about data mining have “a breathless quality: ‘you can expect big things from us,’ but as yet it’s all method and no results.” He said that the new findings belittle the work of a generation of scholars who focused on the 18th century as the turning point in the evolution of the criminal justice system.

The challenge for us will be to show results from the methods.